Our feet carry us on a lifetime’s journey, from our very first steps to our golden years. Along the way we might have had a few injuries or problems to deal with, too. Senior feet often gather a lot of wear and miles over time, and it becomes extremely important that they receive proper care during this time of life. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for some to reach and properly care for their feet in their senior years, and this is where we can help.
Why is Senior Foot Care Important?
Keeping aging feet and ankles healthy has numerous benefits. They are a key element of helping many seniors remain active and independent. When someone is laid up with sore feet, it is not only difficult for them to move about, but they may lose strength during that time that they may not be able to easily recover. Maintain strength, maintain mobility.
Healthy senior feet are also more steady feet. Falls are a leading cause of injury in seniors, and pain and weakness in the feet and ankles can contribute to a greater risk of a fall occurring. Maintain strength, maintain stability.
Finally, keeping an eye on foot health can help detect early signs of problems that can affect the feet and beyond. Concerns such as arthritis, nerve damage, and diabetes, when found early, can be treated and neutralized much more effectively than problems that go unnoticed or ignored.
Basic Care Begins at Home
While we here at Martin Foot and Ankle provide essential, expert senior foot care, regular attention and care at home is crucial to preventing problems or detecting them early. Some seniors will be able to do this themselves. For those who find it difficult, it should be handled by a loved one or caregiver. Following are some general tips for senior foot care. They may need to be adjusted based on one’s individual needs, as recommended.
- Check feet daily. Detect problems early by taking a little time each day to check the feet for signs of abnormality, such as redness, swelling, cuts, blisters, and ingrown toenails. A mirror might help someone view all of his or her feet on their own.
- Wash feet daily. Use warm—not hot—water (those with neuropathy in their feet should check the temperature with an elbow to avoid accidental scalding). Avoid soaking feet for more than 10 minutes and pat dry to avoid dryness and cracking. Don’t forget to dry in the spaces between and beneath the toes.
- Care for nails. Nails should be cut straight across and never shorter than the end of the toe. Letting nails grow too long can cause ingrown toenails or accidental cuts along the foot.
- Moisturize and care for skin. Use an unscented cream or lotion on the top and bottom of the feet, but do not leave excess on or between the toes. Doing so can help harbor a fungal infection. A pumice stone can also help with calluses, if recommended by a professional.
- Wear clean, comfortable socks and shoes. Shoes should be the proper size and provide enough support. A clean pair of socks should be worn each day, and should not have ridges or elastic at the top that might constrict circulation to the feet.
Expert Senior Foot Care in Hanover, York, and Lancaster
Even with daily at-home care, it’s still important to have caring professionals in your corner to catch any problems that might not be as noticeable. The doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle are happy to provide regular check-ups of senior feet, as well as services such as nail trimming and skin care. Scheduling an appointment for yourself or a loved one is easy: simply call (717) 757-3537 or use our online form.